Systems of Knowledge in Nordic Middle Ages (SKiN
The research group “Systems of Knowledge” (SKiN) was established in October 2014. It started out as a group working on an application for the Research Council of Norway (RCN) to establish a new Norwegian Centre of Excellence. The objectives of these centres are to support and enhance research in Norway by allowing the “foremost scientific circles the opportunity to organise their activities in centres that seek to achieve ambitious scientific objectives through collaboration and long-term basic funding.” The application was submitted on 25 November 2015. In March 2016 it will be announced which applications continue on to the second and final round of the evaluation process. The objective of the project Systems of Knowledge in the Nordic Middle Ages is to generate a new paradigm, based on an interdisciplinary approach to knowledge itself that can aid in the study of the Middle Ages. As defined within current anthropological theory, knowledge systems serve to structure a theoretical and practical comprehension of the world. Examples of such systems include cosmology, science and technology, and textual and visual representations. The pursuit of knowledge is a deliberate cognitive activity undertaken at all levels of society. Thus the concept of knowledge systems offers an analytical tool for the identification and study of cultural and societal changes, and of knowledge as handled by individuals and groups. By applying the concept of ‘knowledge systems’ our fields of study, we can explore the perceptions, appropriations and implications of these systems in the Nordic Middle Ages, 800–1550.